Rules, Regs and Rotten Eggs by H R F Keating

Detective Superintendent Harriet Martens has had enough.

Driving home with her husband, John, she is all but ready to resign… that is, until she comes across a murder.

Still reeling from her son’s death following a terrorist attack and with a new ACC, one who is doing everything to make her life difficult, Harriet decides to take charge.

It’s time to go.

But when she spies Robert Roughouse, a politician who feels he has the right to speak out about hunting, getting into deep water during a rally address in a mining town, the situation is taken out of her hands.

As tension and aggression mounting, Harriet looks on from her car, stuck in traffic.

Within moments, rotten eggs are flying, but one egg has a very special purpose, and with Harriet watching, Roughouse falls unconscious to the ground in the midst of the rally.

So much for resigning!

Harriet is at the scene within moments, taking over as Senior Investigating Officer, and soon concludes the attack was attempted murder.

But matters take on a more sinister turn: Roughouse has been transferred to another clinic, despite there being a police officer on duty to protect him in hospital, and Harriet is sent into a spin.

Why and how could Roughouse have been moved in the early hours of the morning?

Setting her case to the ACC, she is lumped with the belligerent Detective Sergeant Woodcock.

Notorious for his laziness and reluctance to do much work, aside from bully answers out of people, Bolshy Bill’s arrival seems like nothing more than a form of revenge by the ACC.

Yet, as the investigation taking on increasing twists and turns, Harriet discovers Bolshy isn’t as bad as he seems.

Their questioning leads them to further investigation of The Zealots, three suspicious characters indeed, and Drummond, the third, is most interesting of all…

The case gets deeper and deeper, all Harriet’s wits and cunning are called into play…

HRF Keating is well versed in the worlds of crime, fiction and non-fiction. He was the crime books reviewer for The Times for fifteen years, as well as serving as the chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Society of Authors, and for many years as president of the Detection Club. Best known for his Inspector Ghote series, which twice won him the CWA Gold Dagger Award, in 1996 he was awarded the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for outstanding service to crime fiction. He lives in London with his wife, the actress Sheila Mitchell.

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